Age is associated with an increased prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which, through progressive tissue damage and fibrosis, ultimately leads to loss of kidney function. Although much effort is put into studying CKD development experimentally, age has rarely been taken into account. Therefore, we investigated the effect of age on the development of renal tissue damage and fibrosis in a mouse model of obstructive nephropathy (i.e. unilateral ureter obstruction; UUO). We observed that after 14 days, obstructed kidneys of old mice had more tubulointerstitial atrophic damage but less fibrosis than those of young mice. This was associated with reduced connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), and higher BMP6 expression and pSMAD1/5/8 signaling, while TGF-β expression and transcriptional activity were no different in obstructed kidneys of old and young mice. In vitro, CTGF bound to and inhibited BMP6 activity. In summary, our data suggest that in obstructive nephropathy atrophy increases and fibrosis decreases with age, and that this relates to increased BMP signaling, most likely due to higher BMP6 and lower CTGF expression.
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology